NO holiday in the tropics is complete without some pampering spa treatments, especially if you’ve been hiking through jungles and sweating it out wildlife spotting. Malaysia is blessed with beautiful resorts offering up indulgent therapies. Here are my picks for unique, extravagant treatments:
Set serenely on the sea, The Spa takes inspiration from the surrounding landscapes and Sabah’s traditions. The Traditional Inspiration package draws from centuries-old bridal preparation rituals and features a body scrub of herbs, grains, lime and egg. The Sabahan Experience includes a rice powder scrub while the Dalit Massage is performed with river stones and traditional oils. If you haven’t got enough of the sea, the ocean-inspired Marine Elixir begins with a body wrap of natural nutrient-rich spirulina (microscopic algae) mud, full-body massage and spirulina facial.
Malaysia’s largest tea-producing region, the lush green Cameron Highlands is home to tea plantations dating to the British colonial era. Fittingly, this tranquil spa offers treatments making use of the restorative properties of tea. Indeed, every therapy begins with a signature tea bath. Also on offer are treatments based on those of the indigenous Semai or Orang Asli (‘aboriginal people’), who have a vast knowledge of the healing properties of plants and herbs – such as the Semai scrub and Batin Tangas Wap (steam bath). The Rose Petal Body Scrub and Rose Aroma Massage use preparations from fresh Cameron-grown roses.
Stunningly located on a sandy beach with Andaman Sea vistas from its swimming pools, relaxation areas and treatment rooms, therapies begin with the signature ‘serenity’ welcome – a neck, scalp and face massage with aromatic oils. If you’ve just begun your holiday, you’ll need the Heavenly Body, an exfoliating treatment of crushed black rice and cloves to remove rough skin, followed by a restorative, moisturising Raja Oil Massage. At the end of your trip, when your body’s aching from lying on a sun bed all day, try the uplifting Malay Traditional Massage followed by a honey-based After Sun Soothing Ritual.
If you enjoyed this article and would like to find out more about travelling to Malaysia, please visit the Tourism Malaysia website
About the author…
Australian-born, Dubai-based travel writer Lara Dunston and her photographer husband Terence Carter have been living out of their suitcases since 2006, bouncing around the planet on assignment for publications from National Geographic Traveller in the USA to The Independent in the UK. The couple also have a popular travel blog Grantourismo, where they blog about slow and sustainable travel, local travel, and experiential travel.